WESTVILLE, IND. – The Purdue Northwest men’s basketball team fell Thursday night in a hard-fought loss to the undefeated Davenport Panthers 88-76. Rich Robertson led the way for PNW with 15 points and five rebounds.
The game started off tight, as the two squads traded buckets throughout the early stages of the first half. Dean Tate connected on a 3-pointer with 8:48 to go giving PNW a 19-18 lead. Davenport would respond in force and close the half on a 28-18 run to take a nine-point lead into the break. Thursday’s game featured nine lead changes and two ties, as the two top-scoring offenses in the conference made play after play.
The Panthers pushed their lead out significantly in the second half, as a layup from Janeau Joubert made it 59-39 with 16:36 to go. But Boomer Roberts’ group battled back, as they trimmed the lead to six with 4:24 to go on a Tim Gilmore triple.
Davenport closed it out thanks to 18 points and seven assists from Avery Hudson, the reigning GLIAC South Division player of the week. The Panthers shot an impressive 46.2% from behind the arc as they knocked down 12 3-pointers. DU also consistently took advantage of the Black and Gold’s sloppy ball handling, as they had 28 points off of turnovers. The Pride were also hurt by 27.6% shooting from three, as they hit just eight of 29 attempts from long distance.
Four players for PNW ended up in double figures. Besides Robertson, Dean Tate and Durante Lee each chipped in 13 points. Chase Rankin added 10 points with two rebounds and three assists. Freshman Anthony Barnard nearly grabbed his second consecutive double-double as he scored eight points but pulled down 11 rebounds.
Head Coach Boomer Roberts
"We are getting better, and I’m proud of the way our guys are growing. We were much better on D and on the glass tonight, which gave us a great chance to compete. But it was another sloppy night offensively, with too many careless turnovers in a game where we needed to get more shots. Davenport is undefeated for a reason, but I thought our guys hung in there and showed some real toughness against a very good team despite the disappointing result. Durante and AB were great on the glass, and Rich made a lot of plays getting to the paint. We have to keep growing, because we have another excellent team coming to our place on Saturday in Grand Valley."
The Pride will return to the Fitness and Recreation Center Saturday for Kid's Day. PNW will be taking on Grand Valley State University at 1 PM (CST). All kids will recieve free admission and there will be free t-shirts and giveaways available to those in attendance.